Any traffic collision can be serious, but accidents involving public transportation can be especially catastrophic due to the large vehicle sizes and the number of people who can be potentially involved. To ensure your rights are protected in the aftermath of a public transportation accident, contact Attorney Bryan Garrett for help.
How Common Are Public Transportation Accidents?
It might seem like accidents with public transit vehicles like buses, trolleys, trains, and planes are a rarity. After all, seeing a couple of cars pulled over on the side of the road after a fender bender is a relatively common sight, but you rarely see derailed trains or a tipped-over bus on a daily commute.
Even though riding a motorcycle is the mode of transportation that results in the highest number of fatalities, public transit has its fair share of serious injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there has been an average of more than 25,000 injuries in bus accidents from 1998 to 2019.
Airplanes have notoriously low accident rates, and fatalities are rare; however, when a fatal accident does occur, it can result in a devastating loss of life, and it necessitates a skilled and dedicated public transportation accident attorney to advocate for the rights of the victims and their families.
Who Is at Fault for a Public Transportation Accident?
Due to the number of parties potentially involved in a mass transit accident, determining who is liable and for what damages can be more complex than a typical passenger vehicle accident.
The issues that create these complexities include the following:
– When there are multiple victims, it can take additional time to collect witness statements and unravel the facts.
– When the transportation entity that is potentially liable is owned by the government, the statute of limitations tends to be shorter, requiring claimants to act more quickly.
– Laws may differ depending on where the accident occurred and whether the owner of the vehicle is a private or public entity.
– Determining liability can also be challenging. Was the driver negligent, or was there a malfunction due to a defective part? Had maintenance of the vehicle (or track) been overlooked? Was the company responsible for the vehicle lax in training or background checks?
Why Seeking Legal Help as Soon as Possible is Important
As you can imagine, there is a great deal of investigative work that has to be done prior to filing an official complaint and determining a settlement amount to seek in damages.
One of the most compelling reasons to contact a public transportation accident injury attorney is to ensure that you file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. In Oklahoma, this amount of time is usually a period of two years, but it can be extended or shorter, depending on various circumstances.
For example, if an accident involves a minor, the statute may be until the party turns 19 or two years pass, whichever period is longer. However, an exception that shortens the statute of limitations occurs when the defendant is a bus company that’s owned by the government. In this situation, there is a strict one-year statute of limitations.
Suing the incorrect party can result in delays that can result in a forfeiture of a right to seek financial compensation, so an important first step to take is to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after an accident, especially if you or a loved one has been injured. Your attorney will gather information about the case during your initial consultation and advise you on the appropriate next steps.
Contact an Oklahoma Public Transportation Accident Injury Attorney Who Cares
Don’t wait until you realize your injuries are severe to contact an attorney or delay until you receive a settlement offer from an insurance company. We recommend consulting with Attorney Bryan Garrett, an attorney with more than 15 years of experience in this area.
In your initial consultation, Mr. Garrett will discuss your case and help guide you through the appropriate next steps. There is no fee until your case is successfully settled. We understand that this is a difficult time for you and your loved ones, and our team will be here to support you and serve as an advocate for your rights.